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“ [23] of such officers as might violate said article by dismissal from the service.”

Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts, on the twenty-third of December, introduced a bill in relation to the arrest of persons claimed to be held to service or labor by the officers of the military and naval service of the Untied States; which was read twice, and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. It declared that officers in the military service of the United States have, without the authority of law, and against the plainest dictates of justice and humanity, caused persons claimed as fugitives from service or labor to be seized, held and delivered up; and that such conduct has brought discredit upon our arms and reproach upon our Government; and it therefore proceeded to enact, that any officer in the military or naval service of the United States, who should cause any person, claimed to be held to service or labor by reason of African descent, to be seized, held, detained, or delivered up to or for any persons claiming such service or labor, should be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and should be dishonorably discharged, and for ever ineligible to any appointment in the military or naval service of the United States.

On the sixth of January, 1862, Mr. Wilson reported back his bill from the Committee on Military Affairs, with an amendment. On the seventh of January, Mr. Wilson called it up, and the Senate proceeded to its consideration. The Committee on Military Affairs reported an amendment to strike out all of the original bill, and insert as a substitute: That it should be unlawful for any officer in the military or naval service of the United States to cause any person claimed to be held to service or labor by reason of African descent to be seized, held, detained, or delivered up to or for any person claiming such service or labor; and any officer so offending should be discharged from service, and be for ever ineligible to any appointment in the military or naval service of the United States. Mr. Saulsbury, of Delaware, moved its indefinite postponement — yeas, thirteen; nays, twenty-three. On motion of Mr. Carlisle, of Virginia, it was temporarily laid on the table.

The Senate, on the sixteenth of January, on motion of Mr. Wilson, took from the table and resumed the consideration of the bill to punish persons in the military and naval service, for arresting and delivering fugitive slaves. The pending question being on the amendment reported from the Committee on Military Affairs, to strike out the original bill, and insert the amendment as a substitute, Mr. Collamer, of Vermont, said: “Without criticising at all the form of expression of the proposed amendment, I offer a substitute for it, which I send to the chair: ‘No officer of the army or navy of the United States, or of the volunteers or militia in the service of the United States, shall assume or exercise any military command or authority to arrest, detain, hold or control any person, on account of such person being holden to service as of African descent; and any such officer so of fending shall be dismissed from service.’ ” Mr. Wilson accepted the amendment proposed by the Senator from Vermont. Mr. Powell asked that the bill be postponed, and the amendment be printed, “in order that we may have some time to look into it.” “The amendment,” replied Mr. Wilson, “is very plain and simple; a child can comprehend its import. I hope that this important bill, which ought to have been passed on the second day of this session, for the honor of the country, will not be postponed any longer.” “I have drawn up,” said Mr. Saulsbury, “very hurriedly, an amendment, which I propose to insert as an additional section: ‘Nor shall any soldier or officer, under like penalty, entice away or detain any person held to service or labor in the United States, from his or her master or owner.’ If you adopt,” said Mr. Saulsbury, “the amendment of the Senator from Vermont, you make it penal for a soldier or officer to return even to a loyal master or owner his slave: but you provide no penalty against any soldier or any officer for depriving even a loyal master of the services of his slave. My amendment proposes to prohibit, under the same penalty, an officer or a soldier of the army from decoying or enticing away from the service a slave, or from harboring a slave.”

Mr. Rice, of Minnesota, proposed to amend Mr. Saulsbury's amendment by adding, “who may be a loyal citizen of the United States,” and the amendment to the amendment was agreed to. Mr. Collamer thought that, under Mr. Saulsbury's amendment, if any soldier wanted to get dismissed from the service, he would have nothing to do but to entice a slave and he would get himself and the slave both dismissed. “I am opposed,” said Mr. Wilson, “to this amendment in every shape and form, and to any legislation protecting, covering, or justifying slavery for loyal or disloyal masters. What I want to do is to put upon the statute-book of this country, a prohibition to the officers of the army from arresting, detaining, and delivering up persons claimed as fugitives, by the use of military power.” Mr. Pearce, of Maryland, said: “The Senator from Massachusetts objects to a proposition which forbids officers and soldiers of the army from enticing, harboring, or preventing the recovery — that is the amount of it---of a fugitive slave, known to be such, upon the application of his master, known to be his lawful owner, according to the laws of the State in which he lives. What is the effect of that? It is an invitation to all the slaves of the State of Maryland, who can do so, to resort to this camp, sure of protection there, first, because no officer of the army can order their delivery up to their master, however loyal, or however indisputable his title may be to that slave.”

The bill was then reported to the Senate; and, pending the question of concurring in Mr. Collamer's amendment, the Chair announced the special order of the day.

In the House, Mr. Blair, of Missouri, on the

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